Explaining ADD Meds

I made a Storify about Elon James White‘s excellent explanation of ADD meds: Continue reading


ADD Check-in

The hashtag #ADDcheckin has been active on Twitter since yesterday, when Elon James White started it so people could share their experiences. There’s some great stuff there, but I absolutely have to share this one:

I use time-tracking software just so that I’ll know how long I spend on specific tasks. Sometimes it helps me manage my time well, but mostly it just lets me document how long seemingly simple tasks can take me.

To put it another way, as I said to someone just yesterday, “We’ve probably been talking for 10 minutes or so, but if you told me it’s been an hour, I’d believe you.”

Here are a few other resources I’ve picked up today from people tweeting the hashtag: Continue reading


Depression vs. “Depression”


“Depression” seems to signify social ills for which we have no solution, from violent, homicidal behavior, to health illiteracy, to our culture’s neglect of the elderly. Constructing societal deficits as a medical problem does everyone a disservice—because treatment specific for depression won’t work for people who don’t really have depression. People who need social support can be expected to benefit most from programs that provide social support—not from psychiatrists.

– Anne Skomorowsky, “Don’t Blame It on Depression: That’s not what made the Germanwings co-pilot murder 149 people.”


Not Alone


Chronic anxiety is miserable. There’s the waiting: will I panic? when? will it be as bad as last time? will I be safe? can I get out? It is often co-morbid with depression: I can’t do this forever, I just want it to stop, I want to be normal, I want to stop worrying, maybe I should just drive into the ocean. It seems relentless. Years of relentless, agonising fear.

We’re chronic anxiety people. Our anxiety has been treated and it hasn’t gone away. Sometimes it bores the people around us. It definitely bores us. God, it’s boring. So we push forward in spite of our very boring fear. We climb out of bed every (OK, most) days and we exist in the world inside a fog, and some days the fog is light and it blows away for a while, and some days the fog is thick and it rolls in around us and we suffocate.

People don’t make ad campaigns for us. Our anxiety is not so easily classified. Our symptoms aren’t always identifiable. When I’m at my most anxious, I look right into the face of the man I love and I can’t remember who he is. How do you put that in a mood-lit commercial? I am insane, I am crazy, I am the only one who feels this way.

I’m not. I’m just a person with an anxiety disorder. There are millions of us, out there in the world. We carry our anxiety with us like a colostomy bag, filling it with fear, emptying it into the quiet corners where we sit and we breathe. Sometimes, we find pockets of peace.

I will die, I will die.

But not from this.

– Anna Spargo-Ryan, “I exist in a fog. Some days it blows away, but some days it’s heavy and suffocating” (h/t Marc)


If Smartphones Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Smartphones

By Jacrews7 (Flickr: On The Floor Texting) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Dr. Keith Ablow, the man who apparently will say anything if it means Fox News will keep letting him be on the teevee, has figured out how to explain the recent Florida movie theater shooting in a way that doesn’t implicate guns at all: data rage. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds.

Fox News “Medical A-Team” member Keith Ablow thinks smartphones may be even more dangerous to have in theaters than handguns.

Ablow on Tuesday said a smartphone caused a retired police officer to experience “data rage” toward a man who was texting in a Florida theater and fatally shoot him.

After Curtis Reeves was ordered held without bond on Tuesday, Fox News hosts Bill Hemmer and Alisyn Camerota asked the television psychiatrist what might have caused the 71-year-old ex-Tampa officer pull out his .380 pistol and shoot 43-year-old Chad Oulson while he was texting his 3-year-old daughter.

“I think we may have to look at something I’ll call data rage,” Ablow opined. “Just like road rage. We know that when people interact with machines that sometimes they feel emboldened to do things that they never would, that it can be tremendously frustrating and that people who could be vulnerable — by the way, they may be impulsive to begin with or explosive — add in technology or a machine and things can go over the top.”

I guess, in Ablow’s mind, if the gentleman had not had a gun, “data rage” would have driven him to bludgeon the texter to death with some Twizzlers, or maybe build a bomb using popcorn butter and other found items.

What truly amazes me is that this is supposed to be an argument, essentially, for letting this man have a gun. I’ll give Dr. Ablow the benefit of the doubt for a minute and pretend “data rage” is really a thing. Isn’t this an issue of mental health, to which the NRA et al are always trying to change the subject? If people are prone to uncontrollable rage in the presence of people texting, what are the public safety implications for gun regulation? Or should I just pack my own heat in case I enrage someone through texting?

Not that I expect a thoughtful or coherent answer to such questions…

Photo credit: By Jacrews7 (Flickr: On The Floor Texting) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.


A Black Dog Named Depression

If you struggle with depression, or if you are struggling to help or understand someone who does, you owe it to yourself to watch this video: